Voter Identification for Elections

1662 WordsJan 31, 20187 Pages
Since 2000 there has been a rampant increase in the number of states requiring voter identification (ID) for elections. By 2004, approximately 19 states had made it mandatory that some form of identification would be required. As this trend has remained largely consistent, so has the rationale behind implementation of these laws from its proponents. Proponents of voter identification and registration laws argue that these laws are necessary to minimize voter fraud and restore public confidence in elections (Goldstein 2006). For example, a 2005 U.S. Senate policy committee report claimed that “voter fraud continues to plague our nation’s federal elections, diluting and canceling out the lawful votes of the vast majority of Americans” (US Senate Republican Policy Committee 2005:1). On the opposite side of the spectrum, opponents of voter identification and registration laws argue that these laws further marginalize the poor, minorities, and the elderly. They also posit that voter ID laws are useless if their intent is to decrease the amount of voter impersonation fraud because the occurrence of such is so rare. I will argue that if the intended outcome of voter ID laws is a reduction in voter fraud and a restoration of confidence in the public about fair elections, the evidence on this subject is scant and the evidence of the existence of voter impersonation fraud is even more slight. I will then go on to discuss the empirically substantiated effects of what voter ID
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